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Dayton’s Josh Cunningham working towards being 100 percent for next season

Alabama v Dayton

DAYTON, OH - DECEMBER 7: Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Anthony Grant looks on during the game against the Dayton Flyers at University of Dayton Arena on December 7, 2011 in Dayton, Ohio. Dayton defeated Alabama 74-62. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

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Dayton forward Josh Cunningham has his sights set on being 100 percent healthy for the 2017-18 season after returning from surgery to complete last season.

After tearing a ligament in his ankle finishing a dunk against Alabama last November, Cunningham had surgery and missed a large chunk of the season before returning to play in the Flyers’ final nine games.

In a story from David Jablonski of the Dayton Daily News, Cunningham revealed that he wasn’t fully healthy when he returned late last season, saying that he estimated he was at 70 to 75 percent health, but he doesn’t regret doing so. Cunningham gave Dayton a much-needed body on the interior as they made an NCAA tournament run.

“I just wanted to go back and give it my all for the team,” Cunningham said to reporters. “I’m very happy I came back. It gave me the confidence in my ankle to know I can come back out here and play on this and it’s nothing to worry about. I think I was probably a step slower just because I was hesitant about making moves and shifting to my left ankle.”

Now that Cunningham has this full offseason to recover, he’s hoping to be fully healthy for next season as he should be a vital part of Dayton’s plans under new head coach Anthony Grant. While Cunningham didn’t put up big numbers last season, in large part due to minutes restrictions and his injury, he has the potential to be one of the better frontcourt players in the Atlantic 10 next season.